Bad Form!

Image

A friend called me last night to talk about a memorial service for a  young man who died in a tragic car accident, taken in the prime of his life @ 22 years young  a family and community are devastated.  What made this situation even worse was a Born Again Preacher who doesn’t know the Gospel of Love, preaching a lie that will hurt many precious souls for a long time to come .  You see this young man had committed the unforgivable sin in this Pastor’s eyes, he had not said the magical sinners prayer and joined the local Born Again Cult.  So during this Pastor’s pathetic sales pitch for being born again, he tells a story about how he himself almost died in a motorcycle accident and but by the grace of God he did not, because he goes on to say had he died at that time he would have gone to Hell forever! 

Bad Form Pastor you just told this young mans family that their son is in hell for eternity!  

Band Form Pastor someone needs to teach you the true message of the Love of God in Christ! 

Bad Form Pastor someone needed to scream at the top of their lungs, Jesus never taught this lie! 

Bad Form Pastor someone needed to say sit down and shut up, your making a fool of God and His Christ!

ANZAHOLYMAN

a Recovering Fundamentalist Preacher

Is the Devil in Control?

devil-in-control    

If you read the apostles of the first century and take what they say as both literal and fixed then the “The Devil” is in charge end of story.  At least that is how it was explained to me the other day by a fellow trying to explain the worlds eventual doom to me.  Verses were quoted and I don’t care to post them here you can Google them yourself but they were quite clear that “The Devil” is in control of everybody but the Born Again Christians.  Everybody has the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes so that they will not say the sinners prayer and become Christians. 

     To this I say what a bunch of garbage look around the world and the problem is not a devil, but everywhere people refuse to be divine!  It’s obvious God is watching but not in order to show up at the last minute on a white horse and rescue us from “The Devil” and his evil hordes.  Rather it like a great movie scene when the hero realizes he has the power to make a difference and he finally buys into the correct view of himself as hero rather than victim.  We all know what comes next the hero opens a can of Whoop Ass on the bad guy and the girl, town, city or world is saved.  

     So you still want that sad slave and victim narrative from the first century or are you going to step into your destiny and open a can of Whoop Ass.   I tell you the truth and the sooner we believe it the better off we will be, if there is a “Devil” in charge it’s because we are sitting on our —- blaming a “Devil” instead of being in charge.

ANZAHOLYMAN

The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters.   ROMANS 8:19

Is $5 Dollar a Gallon Gas a Godsend?

The other day I was talking with a guy who attends a Church that requires a drive of 115 miles round trip.  He was explaining how this Church has a wonderful children’s program and a smoking worship team, not to mention a Pastor who he agrees with 100%.

Having lived in the area where I minister for over 20 years, I however discern a different reality at work here.  This guy has burnt every bridge and relationship he has in this small mountain community.  You see the people who know you best are the people you live closest to and that is the plain truth.  My Father in Law always use to tell me “never crap where you eat.”  Change and Transformation can only happen local, because that is where accountability is at its highest.  Making a difference is always a local matter, and the more you are committed close to where you live, the greater the difference you can make.

This failure of local transformation & change can be seen even within ones self, we keep busy so that we don’t have to see the reality that is us.  I run into these guys all the time, trying to convince me they are making a difference far from home.  How wonderful are all their long distance relationships, but his wife would leave him in a heartbeat if she could afford it.  Meanwhile the children are a mess at school the house looks like the dump their life really is.  You see there’s no time to water anything local, whether it’s personal or neighborhood.   Nothing but judgments spew from their mouths about all those who know them best, nobody local understands how brilliant they really are.

The truth is they are afraid of any relationship that just might reveal the internal flaws they don’t have time to see.  So they travel great distances real or imagined to  where nobody knows how broken their life really is.  The sad part here is this, that  grace works best when we are real, to the people who actually know us best.  When we love our neighbor as we love ourselves and reach out to those in the midst of where we live.

We however live in a Face Book World where your stage name is Morning Dawn, and you have all the spiritual answers.  Or some online religious group where you can cut and paste all the correct verses and texts, always being right is so important after all.

God has a plan however and I can see it on the horizon $5 dollar a gallon gas, soon that 115 miles will start to look like a 1000 miles.  Then maybe we will work together locally to affect real change and transformation, in our life and the life’s of people closest to us.  Even if it just causes us to water our trees and care for those under our own roof, $5 dollar a Gallon gas will have been a God send.

ANZAHOLYMAN

Back in Time (Wrong Direction)

The world finds itself at a Tipping Point, while there is a move towards the future and all its potential.  There is a counter current that constantly exerts pressure to go Back in Time.  Many people it appears would prefer to life in any time except the time and age we actually live in.

As a Christian I run into other believers that are desperately trying to go Back in Time to the first century AD.  They read the book of Acts and come to the conclusion that those people where truly spiritual and at the zenith of faith.  If only we could escape this 21st century and return, as it where to a pure faith.  On top of this they also hold an epistemology that sees the end coming at any moment.

People long for the good old days which is always anytime before the fifties, you know where some people knew their place and women stayed home just as the bible teaches.  The problem with this world view is that you will never find God in the past, God has no interest in the past at all.  It’s not just Christians most Muslims are waiting for the Mahdi and a return to those good old days of the caliphate.  You know when a woman could be divorced by saying I divorce thee three times, and a real man had slaves. The Political class around the world finds itself in the same boat defending memories rather than building a future.

It is time for these world views to be transformed, God is only in the present looking forward to a Kingdom Coming.  When I counsel people the biggest problem I run into is a life defined by a past, that is only real because it is given place.  If only it is argued they could go Back in Time and have a do-over, which is another way of saying they will do nothing and go no-where.

It really is time to kick the dust of our feet and start to build a future and to accept no Back in Time substitute.  Anything that has Gods stamp and image on it has nothing to fear of the 21st century, everything else is Form without Spirit.  If what you believe is afraid of the present and waiting for the future to implode, it is not of God.  This world needs to wake up and put the Past where it belongs in the history books.  Then we can begin to create The Kingdom which is always coming, like I believe we were created to Do.

  ANZAHOLYMAN

Wrestling With God

In Paul’s letter to the fellow believers in Rome he ask a rhetorical question,“Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”  I have seen this verse used time and again to prove God is Sovereign of the evil and the good.  That it’s all planed out from beginning to end including those merely playing the villans role.  Thank God the bible is full of actual stories that contradict this idea of God as puppet master.

Choice it seems is built into the biblical narrative from the very first story told of Adam and Eve.  As Dr. Michael Lodahl put so well in his book (The Story of God) “Scripture Testifies of God not only as the Creator of all things but also the One who has lovingly, compassionately, and freely entered into covenantal relation with the creation.”

Paul’s question rhetorical question is actually taken from the book of Isaiah and not as some might think from the mind of Augustine and Calvin.

Isaiah 29:16

You turn things upside down,

as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,

“You did not make me”?

Can the pot say to the potter,

“You know nothing”?

But let us answer Paul’s rhetorical question with one big affirmative Yes!

Wrestle With God just like Job did over Gratuitous Evil.

Wrestle With God  just like Abraham who argued with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Wrestle With God just like Moses did over his Identity at the burning bush, or as Moses defended others in the face of God’s judgment.

Wrestle With God just like Jacob did over the course of your life and refuse to let go.

Wrestle with God in the Garden as Jesus did, until the Leap of Faith is Required.

Wrestle With God

In Faith

and  Doubt

In Victory

and Defeat

In Love

and Fear

In hope

and Despair

Wrestle with God until He touches you

and gives you a New Name,

but know this most of the time the God you are really wrestling with,

is the god of your own understanding.

ANZAHOLYMAN

Questions & Inquisitions

First let me say Questions are great especially in the search for knowledge and wisdom, but there are questions which have neither of these noble quests in mind.  I have noticed a rise in questions that are purely for the purpose of an Inquisition.  An Inquisition is “an official investigation, especially one of a political or religious nature, characterized by lack of regard for individual rights, prejudice on the part of the examiners, and recklessly cruel punishments.”

There was a man during the Salem Witch Trials whose name was Giles Corey, this brave man refused to plead innocent or guilty.  He correctly understood that to answer that simple question was to justify the validity of the Inquisition.  For this rejection of a Question which was based in an Inquisition he was killed in a very gruesome manner.  Jesus also refused to answer question at his mock trial before Pilot and his accusers, I find it interesting that Satan means accuser in the Hebrew tongue.  The Book of Job opening heavenly scene is Satan asking God Questions, the purpose of which was to destroy what was in balance in order to rule in pride.

This brings me forward to the 21st century and in many respects not much has changed with regards to Questions and Inquisitions.  The other day I read an article where Mark Driscoll was interrogating another Christian and calling him a coward because he held a different interpretation to the Questions.  This kind of stuff goes on all the time especially in religion and politics, both areas where Unity is Vital.  For some though the answer is not a question that leads to Unity but rather leads to Conformity, this is the Inquisition I speak about.

One in which a “Christian” goes up to a person made in the image of God, and then asks “Do you know where you will go if you die today?”  Is it any wonder that many people see God as the lead Inquisitor, and the Jesus Question as the one you must answer their way or else.  What if you asked a person a question in order to learn about them and how you might Unify, but then its just so much easier to view them as Dead and Hell bound.

I encourage you to look at the questions you ask and above all else reject those questions that are based in an Inquisition Mindset.  I understand you have been taught this way but my Friend look at Jesus and see another Way.

ANZAHOLYMAN